On my recent trip to San Francisco, I made the wise decision to book a table for dinner at Boulevard, located just by the Ferry Building. I have long admired the cooking of Nancy Oakes, who teamed up with noted designer Pat Kuleto to open the restaurant in 1993 (hard to believe!). With its Belle Epoque flair and first-class staff, the restaurant hums with a liveliness that never overpowers or distracts from the excellent food. My starter of ahi tuna, sliced into thin ribbons, brought together a whole world of Japanese flavors and textures, including bits of fried tofu and a small salad of seaweed and turnip, all with a sherry-soy vinaigrette. The equally imaginative and beautifully prepared Berkshire pork prime rib chop came with delicious little dumplings made from sauerkraut and bacon, tiny turnips with a glistening cider glaze, some apple crème fraiche as an accent and a dressing of pork jus with sage. I was delighted to find the restaurant even better than when it first opened, and this was without question one of the standout meals I’ve had this year. To go to San Francisco and not dine here would be an oversight! I am all the more pleased to see that this achievement has recently been noted by the James Beard Foundation, which gave it the coveted Outstanding Restaurant award. Well done and well deserved!